love hurts

We paid a visit to a heart specialist today so I could find out what’s causing Atlas’ heart murmur. The news wasn’t as bad as it could be, but it wasn’t as good either. He has mitral valve regurgitation, and the prognosis apparently is variable – meaning that he could worsen rapidly, or he could continue to compensate for years.

It seems to me that the lesson here is to remember to enjoy each moment. And so I shall. Right after I give myself this evening to accept the fact that my beloved pup may not be around as long as I’d like him to be.

But poor Atlas – the doctor said excess salt should be avoided so no more potato chips or “snausages” or hot dogs! Not that he got them much – if ever – before, but at least the possibility existed.


16 Responses to “love hurts”

  1. Love does hurt, doesn’t it. It is amazing how important my little guys are to me and I haven’t even had Buster that long. Here’s hoping Atlas lives a long and happy (that’s a given) life.

  2. Oh the poor thing. I hope for the best outcome for you both.
    Just remember this even at the hardest times. No matter how long he lives for he has or would have had the most wonder life with you.
    I really adore the fact you include him in so much of your life. If he lives 1 year or another 10 I don’t think he could have had a better life.
    I am sure all the other dog in your neighbourhood look at him with envy wishing they lived his live and had such a wonder care taker/mom/friend such as yourself.

    Is there any medication or anything the vet can do to reduce risks involved in his condition.

  3. Such a great series..Especially love the title of this one.

  4. “There is sorrow enough in the natural way/From men and women to fill our day;
    And when we are certain of sorrow in store/Why do we always arrange for more?
    Brothers and sisters I bid you beware/Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.”
    ~Rudyard Kipling, The Power of the Dog

  5. Lib, your pictures tell your emotion… even this picture is sad. I know you will relish every moment you get to share together. May they be MANY!!!!

  6. Hi Lib – I hope the visit was helpful. πŸ™‚ As much as I tease you, I know how you feel. I will not see the kitties for a month December 15-Jan 10 or so due to interviews, etc., and I was telling Kath last night that I will be so worried about them.

  7. Also, if you have not, I would recommend you google mitral valve insufficiency – it’s fairly common in older adults and progression and symptoms should be similar for dogs, relatively speaking.

  8. toni: thanks! your dogs are adorable – I can see how you’d fall for them quickly.

    liss: thanks for the kind words. There is medicine that they can give him, but not until his heart is doing much worse.

    marcie: thanks – apparently I am on an Atlas kick, LOL

    ann: oh man, that is so true. It is a good thing I was blissfully ignorant of all this when I took him to his new home (with me).

    angela: thanks – though the one funny part is that I actually took the photo a few days earlier when I was testing out a wide-angle lens. πŸ™‚

    amy: not really. I went because I thought knowledge would make me feel better (i.e. justify my optimism) and now I think continued ignorance really would’ve been bliss. LOL

  9. Oh Eliz, I’m sorry to hear that… I wish him a long (and healthy) life!

  10. Hello Elizabeth,
    Came to your blog via Wayfaring Wanderer. I truly feel for you and Atlas. Medical problems in a beloved pet do have a way of making time stand still so you can soak up every minute. My precious 16-yr-old cat that passed nearly two years ago now (I miss him every day) was diagnosed with kidney failure over two years before he died. My husband and I administered subcutaneous fluid injections every three days for all that time and he had a really good quality of life until the last weeks. My Standard Poodle and Old English Sheepdog send well wishes to Atlas. Will be thinking of you.

  11. Sorry to hear about Atlas & wish his heart well, yours too.

  12. Urggg, that sucks. I am so sorry elizabeth. Remember that he may still have years to run around and play and be your best buddy. Appreciate the time you have together and the love you have shared as much as possible.

    Take care,


  13. I’m sorry that he’s not 100%. Love hurts is such an apt title. Treasure each little moment with him, and even laugh when he does those niggly little things. He looks mighty handsome here. Give him a big hug from Mack and me.

  14. Awe poor guy……I think you have a wonderful outlook…..

  15. So sorry to hear of this unhappy news as well. I hope that his condition IS one that will allow him to compensate for many years. I know he means so much to you. Speaking of “you” (wonderful you!), you have been blessed with the gift of optimism. May others learn from your fantastic example. πŸ™‚

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